updated: 1/29/2007 7:08:42 AM

Evansville Business Hall of Fame Names 2007 Laureates

InsideIndianaBusiness.com Report

The Evansville Business Hall of Fame has named its 2007 laureates. The inductees, who will be honored in March, are John H. Schroeder, founder of Crescent Plastics, Cresline Plastic Pipe Co. and Wabash Plastics in Evansville; Andy Goebel, former operating officer and president of Vectren Corp.; and the late Edward Mead Johnson, founder of Mead Johnson and Co.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

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John H. Schroeder, chairman and founder of Crescent Plastics, Cresline Plastic Pipe Co. and Wabash Plastics of Evansville; Andy Goebel, former operating officer and president of Vectren Corporation; and Edward Mead Johnson (1852-1934) former president and founder of Mead Johnson and Company have been selected as laureates for the 2007 Evansville Business Hall of Fame.

Criteria for selection in the Hall, which is a joint venture of Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana and the Evansville Business Journal, include: business excellence, courageous thinking and actions, vision and innovation, inspiring leadership, community involvement and actions as role models for future generations. Patterned after the U.S. Business Hall of Fame presented by Junior Achievement Worldwide, the Evansville Business Hall of Fame was created as a way to honor outstanding business leaders and to present business role models to the youth of Southwestern Indiana.

John H. Schroeder was one of the pioneers of the plastics industry that led to Evansville’s reputation as the nucleus of this country’s “Plastics Valley.” Today, he serves as chair of Crescent Plastics, Inc., Cresline Plastics Pipe Co., Inc and Wabash Plastics, Inc. Cresline was a pioneer in the introduction of plastic pipe and fittings.

The companies with which Mr. Schroeder is associated have funded several local educational endeavors. Mr. Schroeder is a well-respected, long-time supporter of many other Evansville organizations and charitable causes. He is trustee emeritus of the University of Evansville and Wabash College. He also was named director emeritus of Welborn Baptist Hospital.

Past activities include the board of trustees at the University of Evansville, the United Way, the Evansville Rotary Club and the Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church. He has served as director for many area businesses including Old National Bank, Old National Bancorp, Evansville Federal Savings Bank, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company and the Evansville Chamber of Commerce.

Schroeder has also played leadership roles in the Society of the Plastics Industry and the Indiana Secondary Market for Educational Loans. Mr. Schroeder earned his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and his master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. Schroeder has two sons, John C. and Richard, who serve as presidents of the Schroeder’s plastics companies. He is married to Virginia “Ginny” Schroeder.

As the head of Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, Andrew Goebel was key to the formation of utility powerhouse Vectren and ensuring that the headquarters for this company would remain in Evansville. His long, successful career with the company led him to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, from which he retired in 2003. He is Executive Director of the Evansville Regional Business Committee and a management and financial consultant.

Goebel is a familiar face in business and civic affairs serving on the boards of Old National Bancorp, Brake Supply Company, South Central Communications, Anchor Industries, Community National Gas Company, the Evansville Chamber of Commerce, Hoosier Voices for I-69 and countless other organizations. He holds leadership positions in many of those companies.

Past activities include membership on the boards of the Indiana Electric Association, Indiana Manufacturers Association, Union Federal Savings Bank, Mission Health, and Operation City Beautiful.

Among the many honors Goebel has received are the Evansville Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year in 2000 and the Distinguished Citizen of the Year from the Buffalo Trace Council of the Boy Scouts. Goebel and his wife have two children and two grandchildren.

As founder Mead Johnson & Company, Edward Mead Johnson changed the landscape of local business when he brought that company to Evansville in 1915. His impact on the health and well being of Americans is immeasurable, from the development of a live-saving infant feeding product to creating a standardized product to combat a devastating bone disease.

Johnson’s impact on the local economy extended well beyond the doors of Mead Johnson. In 1927 he donated a building and equipment for the Evansville Public Health Nursing Association, which was a forerunner of today’s Visiting Nurse Association. In doing so, he also required that the gift remain anonymous throughout his lifetime. This is just one example of his involvement with local affairs.

The impact of the Mead Johnson & Company and its parent company Bristol-Myers Squibb is that millions of dollars of support have been provided to area non-profit organizations, including The United Way, educational institutions, hospitals and other philanthropic causes.

Daniel Schenk, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College, served as chair of this year’s selection committee. Other members of the committee included: H. Ray Hoops, president of the University of Southern Indiana; Stephen Jennings, president of the University of Evansville; Tom Austerman of Evansville Commerce Bank; Ron Bonger of Fire & Rain; Jim Butterfield of Smith & Butterfield; Niel Ellerbrook of Vectren; J.P. Engelbrecht of South Central Communications; Tim Flesch of St. Mary’s Health Systems; Dan Gardner of Solutions Unlimited; Mike Head of First Federal Savings Bank; Terri Hollander Albin of Hilliard Lyons; Ron Jochum of Vectren Corp.; Alan Julian of Evansville Business Journal; Jeff Kniese of Integra Bank; Bob Koch of Koch Enterprises; Kevin Martin, of Banterra Bank; Jack Pate of the Evansville Courier & Press; Martin Rowland of Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana; Jim Sandgren of Old National Bank; Marjorie Soyugenc of the Welborn Foundation; Dan Spindler of Given & Spindler; Trudy Stock of Harding & Shymanski; Mike Walsh of GE Plastics; Linda White of Deaconess Health Systems and Ann Whitty of Alcoa Warrick Operations.

More than 25 business leaders from throughout the area were nominated and the selection committee was asked to pick three individuals to be honored at the March 15 Hall of Fame event, and in perpetuity at the Business Hall of Fame which will be housed at the Evansville Courier & Press. All three Laureates, will also be nominated for JA Worldwide U.S. Business Hall of Fame.

The three laureates and their families will be honored at a 7:30 a.m. breakfast on March 15, at The Center Ballroom. The ceremony will feature video production vignettes presented on each laureate’s life – outlining their entrepreneurial and managerial accomplishments. Each laureate will also receive a crystal eagle, symbolizing the spirit of free enterprise. Honorary chair of the event is Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.

For more information about the banquet, contact Martin Rowland, president, Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana at 812-425-8152 or at jachiever@sbcglobal.net.

Source: Evansville Business Hall of Fame

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